Because they’re all about emotions and not about facts. We all react to emotional ideas, rarely to facts.
Facts have the irritating tendency to be (relatively) easily challenged. And yet in the world of journeying to net zero, everyone seems to be desperately looking for a FACT to prove their credentials.
Take the example of a poster, seen on the London Underground and then reported to the ASA last year, for a travel company. The ad featured two women in an exotic middle-eastern location, alongside the text “People & planet-friendly small group adventures…”. Now, maybe that was their selling point – “people and planet-friendly…” But if so, why not make that teeny weeny effort to put this claim in context… to define it properly.
The ASA ruling said “We considered that the claim ‘people & planet-friendly small group adventures’ was an absolute claim, which would be understood to mean that taking part in an [company name] tour caused no environmental damage throughout its full life cycle. We therefore expected to see evidence which demonstrated that taking part in a [company name] tour, including the necessary travel to and from the destination location, caused no environmental damage over its full life cycle.”
So what are we trying to say?
If you have a product or service that clearly involves high-carbon activities (in this case, flying) then for goodness sake acknowledge this in your claims. We consumers aren’t fools.. and I’d be quite happy to hear a claim that was doing its best on eco-travel outside of the business of getting there in the first place.
But even better – once you’ve sorted out your green facts – find an eco-related quality for your product or service that appeals to our emotions. It’s likely to work better for you!
Managing Director, ThoughtSpark Ltd.